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S.S. Kresge questions

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by pinkponies, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. pinkponies

    pinkponies New Member

    Hi everyone! I'm a grad student in a forensic medicine program and I am working on a theoretical case right now that invovles a S.S. Kresge, model 151, 12-gauge, single-shot gun. From what I have been able to find, which is not much, it is a break-open shotgun. We are presented with the decedent having a single gunshot wound, which is situated within a 12.1cm X 5.7cm V-shaped area of shoot depostition, with a second, faint, soot pattern at the side of the V. We are asked to determine what could have caused this. From the little I know about guns, a V-shape is often assoicated with the cylinder gap of revolvers, but we were told that the above shotgun was found at the scene, lying next to the victim. If anyone has any ideas what might have caused the V-shape, I would greatly appreciate your opinions. I have been racking my brain for this one for a week now!! Thanks again for your time and thoughts!
  2. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    How about pictures?
    I'm interested to see what this is all about.
  3. plumberroy

    plumberroy Well-Known Member

    Was shot cup in the wound ? the wound description would lead me to think the shot was fired from about 30 degree angle if the barrel was in contact or close enough for the wad to make contact before it cleared the barrel it could went gases to one side of the wound the angle would cause the V shape pattern
    take it for what its worth I'm just an old hillbilly plumber
  4. texfed

    texfed Well-Known Member

    That shotgun is old as can be....S.S. Kresge was the forerunner of KMart.

    The only reason I'm mentioning it is that these were very cheap firearms even back then. I'm guessing that the shotgun is very loose from years of use.

    You didn't mention if the barrel had been sawed off either, which I'm guessing may be a possibility, given it's age and use in a criminal act.

    My GUESS would be .....a combination of deterioration of the weapon and a short barrel would give a similar signature to a revolver (albeit larger) discharged at a close distance. On the type of weapon I'm picturing, the GSR would be extensive due to un burnt or partially burned powder.

    Anyhow...my guess without crime scene analysis.
  5. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    It sounds like a suicide, where the vic held the gun at a shallow angle to be able to get at the trigger. A V-shaped wound would likely result as the shot from the farthest point of the muzzle dispersed more before striking than that from the closer, contact point of the muzzle, which struck sooner. Recoil might have moved the muzzle somewhat before all the combustion products exited the barrel, resulting in your secondary, fainter soot stain...After all, you're only talking about a 6" long 'V' that's just over 2.25" wide max...That works out to about a 6* angle for a .80 bore and a 6" wound (gimme a break, guys, I'm rounding, and I can't find my calculator).
  6. pinkponies

    pinkponies New Member

    Thank you all so much, guess I shoulda include a little bit more info, although we were not given much. We do not know if the wad was in the wound or not, we do not know if there were any casings or such found at the scene or any blood splatter. We do know that the shotgun was equipped with a hammer block safety. The muzzle-to-garment distance at time of discharge is 46 cm. The trigger-to-muzzle length is 76 cm (so not sawed off), and the distance from the decedent's tip of idex finger-to-wound is 69 cm. So I do not think she could have committed suicide, due to the difference is distances of 53 cm, and she was wearing shoes, so she could not have pulled the trigger with her toe. She had "supposedly" grabbed the gun out of her boyfriends hands and said she was going to kill herself, and then proceded to shot herself in the chest, so she would not have had time to set up any type of mechanism. I'm just really stuck on the V-shaped soot deposition! Again thanks for your time and thoughts, I do appreciate it!! And sorry we were not given any pictures or graphs, because this is all hypothetical.
  7. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus


    Question number one, theoretically speaking of course- do you suspect homicide or suicide? Were there prints on the shotgun? If so, whose were they? Were there prints on the expended shotgun shell? If it's a single shot, the fired shell should still be in the chamber...

    Was the soot deposit found on your theoretical decedent's theoretical clothing? Or skin? Are there any 'fold patterns' from clothing or skin evident in the soot deposit?

    Where was the entry of the theoretical GSW located, and what was the angle of incidence? How large was the pattern of the shot, was there any evidence of it being a contact wound?

    Has it been postulated how the theoretical victim managed to reach the theoretical trigger, if suicide is suspected? Had the barrel been sawed off, or the gun otherwise modified or damaged, especially at the muzzle?

    A forum perhaps more specific to your questions than this one: http://www.firearmsid.com/ , http://www.firearmsid.com/mkportal/smf/index.php

    Case notes that might be useful in your analysis, from Australia: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/173_11_041200/herdson/herdson.html .

    If it matters, the gun is a Boito CBC manufactured for Kresge-



    Kresge 151 Boito CBC


  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    It's quite possible to shoot oneself with a gun with a longer muzzle-to-trigger length than the victim's arm length.

    By placing the muzzle at or above shoulder level, and twisting the body, the victim could have reached the trigger.

    Where is the wound? Is it at or above shoulder level? Is it straight in, or at an angle as seen by someone standing at the victim's head?

    Where are the soot patterns? Are they evenly deposited on both sides of the wound channel?
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    I'm still thinking on the problem. Wish we had a picture in order to see the precise layout of the wound and powder marks.

    Meanwhile, the gun isn't too old. Mr. Kresge opened his first K-Mart in 1962. Eventually, the remaining Kresge dime stores in the U.S. were sold to the McCrory chain in 1987. I don't know about the stores in Canada.

  10. jpatterson

    jpatterson Well-Known Member

    This doesn't relate much to your actual question, but if you were to ask me the boyfriend told the police she took the gun from him and committed suicide but that didn't actually happen. Perhaps he intentionally shot her at an angle so that the shot would spread to a triangle formation to look like she did it herself, then he wiped the gun down and then used her dead body to hold the gun/put prints on/whatever.
    As for the soot pattern, maybe the wad had powder residue? Beats me.
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    Precedent says that whenever a woman is killed, even if by a falling meteor, the boyfriend/husband/significant other is dead meat. The law enforcement people have way too many cases to take the time necessary to find the truth, and all the media wants is a conclusion. This is the new millenium - all men are scum. Haven't you watched the Lifetime channel?
    If you think I am lying, wait until you get put under a restraining order because your wife of 32 years says to the judge that you have never hit her, but she is afraid you might. You lose all your rights with no trial or anything else.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The V-shaped powder burn indicates a close contact angled shot.

    I doubt if the gun in question had any sort of hammer block safety that required the trigger to be held back to fire.

    She "could" have partially cocked the hammer with her shoe sole and let it slip off before it reached full cock.

    A friends son accidently killed himself with a SS shotgun while rabbit hunting in a similar manner.

    He was poking a brush pile with the gun butt, and when he pulled it back toward him, the hammer snagged and released before full-cock, firing the gun into his chest.

    Did you just trick us all into doing your homework for you? :scrutiny:

  13. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    If the BF was holding the gun loosely in his hands and his finger was inside the triggerguard, then it could have fired if she grabbed the barrel and jerked it toward herself.
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And I think that is the most likely explanation!

  15. SDC

    SDC Well-Known Member

    The "second faint area of soot deposition" raises something interesting here; since the shotgun is a single-shot, there should only be a SINGLE area of GSR/soot deposition, unless there was something interfering with the muzzle at the time of the shot; did she have any "defence"-style wounds or GSR on her hands? I'd also want to know about the location and distribution of the shot charge in the body, to see if it corresponds to the sharply-angled shot that the soot pattern represents.
  16. 86thecat

    86thecat Well-Known Member

    Could the victim have been shot with a revolver first, then a shotgun blast used to cover evidence of the revolver shot?
  17. pinkponies

    pinkponies New Member

    Thank you all for your suggestions/possible explanations it is greatly appreciated. My paper is due the 8th, so we'll have to wait and see!

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